Rejecting the TPP

February 15, 2016

Justin Trudeau

House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Justin.

Of course you are pro trade. I am pro trade. We are all pro trade in exactly the same way we are pro puppy pictures and pro moms. All economic transactions are trade. To be pro trade is the same as to be pro employment or pro prosperity.

That is why 24 chapters freeing corporations from regulation are tacked onto the 6 chapters dealing with trade in the TPP. That way its proponents can call it a trade agreement despite it mostly not being one. This is important propaganda because no one is going to support a “freeing corporations from legal restrictions” agreement.

This is the principal behind calling trade deregulation ‘free trade.’ ‘Free’ is a positive term that puts a smiling face on deregulation. No one is going to support ‘unfair trade’ or ‘disastrous trade.’

But that is what trade deregulation has been for Canada. In the 2015 election Liberal campaign literature talked about how things were worse now for average Canadians than they were in the 1980s. The Free Trade agreement and NAFTA were both major contributors to this, effectively pulling the plug on Canadian manufacturing, eliminating well paying jobs and job security, and undermining our industrial economy.

TPP supporters talk a lot about opening markets for Canadian business. I wonder, as I live amongst the empty foundations of all the industries that once made Canadian products, markets for what exactly? Are you genuinely as short sighted as the CPC and think we will just sell all our natural resources to manufacturers elsewhere, just to purchase them back as shoddy products for ten times the price? Could you possibly think this can be a basis for an economy?

Or perhaps you are as deluded as the new Chancellor of Brock University in 2007 when I listened to him tell a convocation including may graduating Chinese foreign students that the future of Canada was to be the source of new ideas and technology, and that the future of countries like China was to be the labourers that made the products. The idea that we can build an economy based on research and services denies the fact that people elsewhere can develop their own technology.

I am pro trade, and pro employment, and pro prosperity. But while TPP supporters dangle the promise of these before us, the TPP itself is not intended to provide any such thing. It is almost entirely a corporate deregulation treaty intended to make multinational corporations immune to national laws. Rather than creating or supporting a ‘global economy’ it is purposed to make it easier for corporations to exploit the extreme inequity in the world’s discrete local economies for the benefit of the corporations themselves, and the obscenely wealthy tiny minority who control them almost entirely.

Please do not promote or support the passage of the TPP into law in Canada. I will be deeply ashamed if your government does so. I, like most Canadians am well fed up with being ashamed of my government. Please do not disappoint us.

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I am an experienced freelance graphic artist and sometime canoeist. I feel strongly about the quality of professional work and like sitting by a remote lake on a sun-warmed rock.

2 thoughts on “Rejecting the TPP”

  1. I would love to see a reply to what you have written! That’s bang on, I don’t know why the government we elected will not take into account our welfare and future.

  2. Starting in the 1980’s there arose a philosophy of economics that favoured austerity, deregulation and privatization. These principals are ideologically based. They do not represent the economic experiences of the 20th century and have generally had exactly the opposite effect to what their proponents intended. However they have been taught and promulgated for decades. It is perfectly understandable that proponents of ‘free trade’ should think it was a good idea, if they have been indoctrinated into this economic faith. It is far harder to unlearn things than to learn them.

    Free Trade, TPP and CETA proponents do not necessarily intend to do harm. They have probably been taught, by people they respected, that this is the way forward.

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